In the parliament,Senior Advocate and Rajya Sabha Member P Wilson has requested for a law making virtual hearings to be made available in all courts and tribunals of the country.
The Rajya Sabha member talked the importance and need of a virtual court. Citing example of the COVID-19 pandemic, the member also highlighted and talked about the accessibility provided by virtual courts to litigants, irrespective of their geographical or economic constraints.
Member of Parliament (MP) drew attention on how post pandemic, the virtual courts are gradually fading away in some key tribunals including the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), and the Appellate Tribunal For Electricity (APTEL).
The Member Rajya Sabha also stated that if virtual hearing is allowed then litigants would be able to save a little along with court proceedings becoming accessible and convenient.
The MP added that “litigants have to bear the cost of travel, lodging and extra fees of the lawyer since most of the Tribunals are situated at Delhi.
Talking about the concept of access to justice which is part of the Constitution of India, Wilson asked for streamlining of the legal process to reduce paperwork and for automating administrative tasks for faster case resolution and a reduction in backlog of cases.
The MP urged that the Central government should come up with comprehensive legislation making virtual court hearings mandatory in all courts and tribunals across the country, alongside physical hearings.
The MP said that such a law should include a code of conduct for litigants, lawyers, judges, and other stakeholders, including penal provisions for any misconduct.